Growing up in the 50's and 60's
Stories of childhood in a non-technological age
1950's - The Seaside Holiday
A personal experience of Buckets, Spades and Fun
The great British Seaside Holiday was at it's height during the 1950's and early 1960's.
The holidays were split into various categories...
1. The Hotel / Guest House / B&B got to by Train, Coach or Car
I remember our weeks with Great Aunt Nellie very well. She lived a stone's throw from the Beach at Selsey Bill just south of Chichester in Sussex.
At that time we didn't have a car but my Grandparents did (Nellie was my Grandmother's sister), so that meant the trip from Sevenoaks to Selsey was quite a crowded one; Grandma, Grandpa, Mother, my sister and myself, our Father stayed at home.
The drive of about 90 miles took the best part of the day. Although Grandpa's car was a pretty good one, an Austin A70 Hereford, with us lot plus baggage it needed a break every 20 miles or so.
Once again, I'm sure many of my age group will say the same, there were certain smells which still come back to you 50 years on.
For us it was mainly a beach holiday with mandatory day trips to Portsmouth and Bognor Regis plus half days in the small harbour Villages of Bosham and Itchenor.
A favourite part was the daily early morning walk to the Newsagents. Being on the seaside they sold everything from Newspapers to Buckets, Spades and Postcards. Again, the smell stays there for ever!
Without mobile phones and email back then, if you didn't send a Postcard to the other Grandparents and various relations there would be trouble.
I've never been a one for rushing around, having schedules etc. and I was the same back then, to just go to the Beach and do my own thing was the greatest pleasure of all.
Two other add on's to Selsey were 1. The Lifeboat Station which is still there, we would walk along to the end in the vain selfish hope that it may get called out and we could watch it. It never was as I recall. 2. Being close to RAF Tangmere we'd hear the Meteor Jet Planes breaking the sound barrier above us. At that time, going at such a speed was only a few years old, what excitement!
Selsey was a more residential spot but the day out to Bognor Regis afforded us an experience of the more known British Seaside Holiday; lines of Hotels, Guest Houses, Fish and Chip Restaurants and Fun Parks.
As my sister and I grew older we would go our separate ways for holidays, but my younger sister and two brother's would continue the yearly event of Selsey Bill.
Onwards into the mid 1960's and the great British Beach Holidays were to be overtaken by the coming of the Jet Age which led to cheap package holiday's to Spain.
Being a child in the 1950's and experiencing the true beach holiday on a windswept sandy and shingly beach though had everything and in some ways it's nice to go to a beach now and see kids under 10 years of age playing just like I used to, it's a place to let the imagination run away - and there's no harm in that.
The seaside brings the child out in children, back then it was how it's meant to be; adventure, fun and.......sand all over you!!
Growing up in
50s and 60s
50's & 60's In the Blog
1960's Year by Year
1954 - Roger Bannister, a 25-year-old British medical student, has become the first man to run a mile in less than four minutes